My partner and I have been sleeping on a Koala mattress for about four years. One of the earlier iterations of the mattress-in-a-box, it’s essentially all memory foam and on the whole, pretty comfy. However, the introduction of a two-year-old who only sleeps half the night in her cot means that the bed is rarely ours alone anymore.
Instead of dealing with the 1 am screaming transfer of said toddler from her cot into our bed, we decided getting a new mattress for ourselves and putting the Koala in her room would be an excellent way to get through the phase. If one of us had to go in to sleep next to her, at least we’d be on a comfy bed and get a somewhat decent night’s sleep.
An offer from Eva to review its Premium Adapt Mattress (PAM) came at exactly the right time – we were indeed in the market for a new mattress, and the PAM is a considerable upgrade from the $1,000 Koala. Given I’d also be sleeping on both of them multiple times a week meant I could just be the best person in the country to do this comparison, in a kind of practical sense.
So, what sets the two apart? Let’s have a look at each before I dive into how they stack up.
Koala Original Mattress
The Koala I’ve had for the better part of four years is no longer available to buy. It’s essentially the original mattress the brand ran from roughly 2016 through to 2020.
Unlike the gear it sells today (which is actually a lot more comparable to the PAM), the OG Mattress is basically just two layers of memory foam. That’s really all there is to it! I can’t find a lot of info on it, but the thinner top layer uses the brand’s “Kloudcell” material, designed to bring “mattress design into this century”.
To be honest, the mattress has been good. The biggest advantage is how it dampens any movement you make, so I know I’m less likely to wake my partner when I roll over in my sleep.
The biggest issue we’ve had is that there are two fairly noticeable imprints on each side of the bed. If you try sleeping right in the middle of it, it feels like you’re sleeping along a ridge. To be totally honest, it’s still pretty comfy and neither of us really complained about it, but if you like to sleep diagonally when you get the bed to yourself, it’s not gonna be ideal.
The PAM, on the other hand, is fitted with both springs and memory foam. This is fairly par for the course these days, even with the current Koala offering, but a big contrast when compared to the OG Mattress above.
In terms of features, it has machine-washable covers, a thermoregulating top layer, edge support (so you can really make use of the whole space) and swappable firmness inserts that give you a soft, medium or firm feel. If you can’t find a configuration that works for you, Eva offers to send out more inserts for you to try.
As you can see below, there’s a lot more going on inside the PAM.
For me, it was good to go right out of the box, no adjustment needed, but nice to know that the option is there should I change my mind at any point or just get curious. Without giving away too much of the next section, it’s been great to sleep on. I’ve had no issues and never once found it uncomfortable or woken up with any aches or pains, which is always a win.
How do they compare?
This is probably going to be an obvious outcome, but the PAM is certainly the more comfortable mattress. However, the difference isn’t as stark as you’d think.
While the Koala is definitely starting to show its age, it’s still fine to sleep on and to be honest, it’s not like I dread going to it when it’s my turn to comfort the crying toddler at 3 am. I’ll admit, my standards are fairly low when it comes to bedding — I could fall asleep just about anywhere — but objectively, the PAM is the better mattress.
And to be fair, this isn’t really a fair test. It’s kinda like comparing a five-year-old iPhone to a brand-new Samsung — the difference in brand or price doesn’t matter as much as the stark five-year difference in technology.
It is, however, a useful test for anyone, like me, who has been meaning to get a new mattress for a little while and has continuously put it off. To those people still sleeping on the old Koala, I say yes, the upgrade from an old memory foam mattress is definitely worth it. There’s a gentle firmness to the PAM that the Koala simply doesn’t have, and seems to allow me to get into a comfortable position much faster compared to the OG.
I’d wager pitting the two brands’ most current mattresses against each other would be a much harder comparison to make. Unless you’re a real mattress connoisseur, I can’t imagine you’d be able to tell the difference between brands all that easily, but that’s a review for another day.
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